Small airports prepare for Super Bowl crowds

Published: Jan. 20, 2018 at 10:29 AM CST
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In the days leading to the Super Bowl, tens of thousands of visitors will be arriving aboard commercial flights.

And MSP Airport can easily handle the traffic. What’s more challenging is how to handle the expected 1,100 corporate aircraft. So private clients will be distributed among the smaller regional airports.

That means lining up everything from fuel to limousines.

Most Super Bowl visitors will fly in on commercial aircraft. But for the well-connected — corporate clients and celebrities — private jets deliver them in style.

“Our leadership team has hosted a number of events over the years and we have tons of experience with events like this,” Lynx FBO Spokesperson Sara Bell said.

Of the estimated 1,1000 private jets arriving, 250 of them will land at Anoka County’s Janes Field. So fixed base operator Lynx is bringing in more fuel, de-icer and staff.

“We actually will end up flying out another 30 people to assist us from other locations,” Bell said.

At St. Paul’s Holman Field, Signature Aviation will quadruple its number of fuel tankers and de-icing rigs. The airport is closing two of three runways, to give it room to park planes.

But landing planes is just the start.

“It’s ground transportation, hotels, food service, catering, all sorts of vendors,” Bell said.

It’s why the new restaurant, Holman’s Table, will open in St. Paul’s old terminal in time to feed those guests.

With so many private aircraft expected, arrival and departure slots will have to be reserved, to keep the skies friendly and safe.

Once the teams are set for the Super Bowl, airport operators will have a better handle on how many private aircraft to expect.

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